The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, which was a move that was met with mixed reaction from the team’s loyal fan base.
The good news for Steelers fans who were doubting the selection, however, is that Shazier has begun his NFL career by running with the first-team defense, according to the Washington Observer Reporter.
Whenever the Steelers opened up OTAs this week, Shazier was receiving reps with the starters.
Shazier lined up at weak-side inside linebacker next to former first-round pick Lawrence Timmons, which provides the team with two solid, speedy options in the center of their defense.
Pittsburgh has been looking to get younger on the defensive side of the ball and Shazier will certainly help them make that change.
Expect Shazier to start from Day 1, as the Steelers hope to see a product on the field that was worthy of a first-round investment.
With Shazier and Timmons on the inside and the likely pairing of Jason Worilds and another former first-round pick, Jarvis Jones, on the outside, the Steelers linebacking corp could be taking major strides towards becoming the dominant unit that they were when the defense was as impressive as ever in the 1990s.